Jonathan Lowndes Pocket Watch
Six-hour dials are rare. Notice that one through six are in Roman numbers and seven through twelve are superimposed in Arabic. The hand revolves once every six hours, four times per day. The movement is signed Lowndes in Pallmall. Pallmall is in the Parish of St James, Westminster. The Lowndes brothers were prominent makers of clocks and watches. Jonathan, the eldest, was born about 1656. Isaac and Charles were just a few years younger. All three were working in Pallmall in the 1680’s (Loomes). This watch is circa 1700 and likely by Jonathan.
The verge and fusee movement has a broad balance table with a wheat ear-like border, and silver tompion regulator. The four pillars are an early Egyptian design that is capped and split. The 6-hour dial is exceptionally designed and made. At the center is an 8-pointed leaf design. The three time indexes show the hours, half-hours (with a crossed-out lozenge design), 15-minutes (with a point design), and one and ten minute divisions. Examples of 6-hour dials are known with one hand and two. This pocket watch has one hand.
Original silver pair case both with makers’ mark “MN.” Priestly records this mark but the case maker's name is unidentified. Split bezel. Cases have 7-knuckle hinges. 54 mm.
Additional References and recommended reading:
Brian Loomes, Clockmakers of Britain, 1286-1700, Mayfield Books, 2014
Philip Priestley, British Watchcase Gold & Silver Marks 1670 to 1970, National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors, 2018